Change the World Through Engineering

Essay Prompt

Olin is a community striving to improve the world and improve people’s lives through engineering education. What change do you hope to be a part of? Why is this particular change important to you? How do you want to improve the world?

Sample Essay

My path to engineering is a relatively straight line through a series of summer experiences starting with a visit to an orphanage in Soweto during a family vacation. Seeing one boy light up when I shared a piece of bubble gum, I was overcome by my first instinct that I wanted to do in life -- help people all over the globe.

Fast forward to middle school, where I discovered that my academic strength was math and learned about engineering thanks to two summers of Explo at Wellesley and Explo Yale.

It was the summer after my tenth grade year when it all came together in a realistic and achievable vision for my future during a month-long program in the Dominican Republic. There we built biomass stoves for families in need -- a sustainable solution conceived by some engineer. It dawned on me then that I could become an engineer who helped people all over the globe.

My heart lies with using engineering to help people in the developing world. From my point of view, one of the most serious problems the world faces today is the looming water crisis. Traveling, I have seen many families in Africa, Asia and Central America who have no reliable source of clean drinking water. Recently I wrote a paper on the subject and learned that 783 million people have no access to clean water. For me that is almost inconceivable and I firmly believe that my generation must find a solution to the global water problem. I would be thrilled to be part of the engineering team that conceives of and implements a sustainable solution to this crisis.

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